Monday, July 21, 2014

Want to be happy? Forget yourself and GO TO WORK!

So, sometimes being a missionary is just the happiest thing ever.
Like, really. 

We had such a good week!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It started with interviews with President. I always like being able to talk to him. He told me that to him, the number of baptisms is not what matters. For him, what matters is that when I get home no one will even recognize me because I have changed into a better version of me :) I hope that’s true!

This week, my companion and I really wanted to be able to reach the mission goal of excellence of 32 lessons. We were so determined. We prayed all week, that we would be able to find people to teach, and we just talked to everybody we could find. Also, this week I trained the zone on the Christ like attribute of diligence and it was cool to study it and learn how to apply it even more in our work. So we set goals, and worked HARD. And do you know what? WE DID IT! we taught exactly 32 lessons this week and had so many cool experiences. And I want to share them all but don’t know if I`ll be able to but we`ll see how this goes!

So like I`ve mentioned before, we have been struggling a little to find new investigators. Last week we found a new family and we had 6 nuevos. Well, this week new investigators just started coming out of the woodwork! I am not even kidding. This week we ended with 9 new investigators! Two families. Woo!! On Saturday we hadn`t planned on visiting a person we`d contacted, but their names were just playing over and over again in my mind, and two of our other lessons fell through and so we went to this contacts house. Well, we found him, his wife, his daughters, and a friend of the family, and they let us in, and we just all started talking like old friends! It was so cool. We taught the first lesson, and I literally felt SO happy. Especially when we ended the lesson and invited the dad to offer his first prayer. We all kneeled down and I have to tell you, it is one of the coolest feelings in the whole world hearing a dad praying for his family for the first time. We have another appointment on Thursday. :)

Also, remember the family I told you about last week that had the picture of Christ with the little children in their house? This Sunday they came to church! and....we went to visit them afterwards and they told us that they absolutely loved it. They said it felt like they were surrounded by family and that they had just felt good being there. We invited them to be baptized and, they accepted! :) They need to be married first, but told us that they had been planning on getting married this year. Also, the lesson this week in gospel principles was on eternal marriage. They (especially J.
, the wife) loved it :) haha

Ok. Another experience. Last night we were at 30 lessons and it was 7:45. We had one more cita fija at 8 but we knew it was going to be our last lesson of the night because it was a family night. We had been praying all week to be able to have the 32 lessons and had gone to three houses and none of them had time. We did not want to end with only 31 so we decided to try contacting someone in the park and teaching them a short lesson. The FIRST person we talked to, before we could even introduce ourselves properly, just started to talk to us like we were old friends. She began to tell us about her life and family, and a problem that she`s going through, and when we asked if we could share a short message with her about how she could find happiness in this life, she said, Yes please sit down. I need to feel some of the peace I can see that you have. And so we were able to have about a 20 minute lesson with her there in the park and I don`t know if I have ever seen or felt so strongly before how it is that the gospel blesses our lives and brings us happiness. I could see SO clearly as we were talking to her about things she’s gone through, exactly how the gospel could help her and we were able to testify of those things and share a little of the plan of salvation. We have another appointment with her and her daughter this week :)

Church yesterday was so great was well. We had SEVEN investigators come, and 3 less active families that are in the process of being reactivated.  Ah! The chapel was full. It was a little intimidating cause I had to give one of the talks yesterday, but it went well :) 

So, once again, we know there must be opposition in all things, and it comes in many forms. I think one of my oppositions on the mission is my health :P haha. So for about a week or two I have had a lot of stomach pain. (That’s a new one, right? Not my heart this time, woo!) And it was getting so bad that a couple days ago I called Hna Erickson. I told her my symptoms and she was like, well it sounds like your developing gastritis! Oh yay. That’s wonderful :P Its when your stomach creates too much acid and burns. It’s not permanent and can be treated with a diet. It’s also suuuuuuuuuper common here in Peru because of all the acidy foods we eat so it’s not too big of a surprise. Crazy "coincidence" as well, my companion was recently diagnosed with the same thing! (we all know there are no such things as coincidences) so we are on the same diet together :) But I am really fine. It mostly just bothered me in the mornings when we were in the house for studies and whatnot, and then when it came time to go out and work I was fine! I so did not want to stay in the house and rest, because we had a goal to meet, and Heavenly Father blessed me! We only had to rest once, Friday night we went to the house of our favorite family and they made us herbal tea to help us feel better :) 

I just want to let you all know that there is SO MUCH HAPPINESS that comes from serving others. And from being a missionary! I love seeing how the gospel blesses and changes lives. I know Heavenly Father blesses us when we are diligent, and obedient. There is literally a POWER that comes when we are obedient. That is something I have been learning about exact obedience. You literally can feel it. I love being a missionary. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but the most rewarding. Emily, you were joking me about the 148 days, right? That can`t even be possible! 

I hope you are all well. I love hearing about everything going on at home! It sounds like a crazy, busy summer.

Well, I have to go. Love you all! Have a wonderful week!

The Church is true :)

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Shelton

P.S. My companion is a black belt in taekwondo. Sometimes for exercise in the morning she teaches me how to kick things. It’s good times. 

So. Surprise. The picture is of me. In the hills... once again. Gotta love the cerros!  

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